Just in case it doesn’t get approved as a comment, here’s my response to this DomPost article on Aro Street Video facing closure:
While it would be a massive shame to see Aro Video go (I’ve been a customer for years) it’s short-sighted to blame this on piracy. The market has shifted, that’s true, but this avoids the reality that most video/tv content still isn’t made legally available online in NZ.
Just as the industry shifted from renting videotapes to DVDs in the 90s, the format is now shifting to downloadable digital content but the industry has failed to keep up with consumer demand. While illegal downloading is wrong, the enormous success of sites like iTunes and NetFlix (only available in the US) has shown that when people are given a legal alternative to accessing content they will use it. It would be fabulous to see a store like Aro, with it’s reputation for quality content, allowed to make their stock legally available for sale or rent online. The gatekeepers of the industry, however, have made it very difficult for local businesses like these to adapt to meet the needs of their customers and therein lies the tragedy.
As mentioned, overall the film industry is doing remarkably well despite its crocodile tears over enormous losses due to piracy (and we’re yet to see concrete statistics backing up these claims). A recent study in to entertainment spending (called “The Sky is Rising” – google it) found that the film industry was indeed booming: with global film/tv spending increasing US$100 Billion in the past 10 years. Language like “piracy” and “cannabalises” is no more than industry propaganda that avoids the issue of an industry failing to adapt. That said, I don’t think this is Aro Video’s fault at all, but that of the suppliers they depend on. Blame them, not the customers.